East meets West at Tea­li­cious

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - OUT & ABOUT -

David James con­tin­ues his mission to visit all of Marl­bor­ough’s food trucks.

Tak­ing a jour­ney through Marl­bor­ough’s food trucks, you never know - you might see Win­ston Peters’ face on a bikkie.

This week we dis­cover the brightly coloured food truck named ‘Tea­li­cious’ parked up at Wino’s car park. The menu con­sists of In­done­sian and Kiwi fu­sion burg­ers, frozen yo­ghurt and the odd Win­nie Peters or Janette Walker por­trait cookie (and only when you pre-or­der).

The two pas­sion­ate food­ies – and de­light­ful hu­mans – run­ning this lit­tle gem are mar­ried cou­ple Hen­dri and In­dah Mayasari.

Their mission is to bring tra­di­tional In­done­sian cui­sine to Marl­bor­ough, and they plan to do that one Indo kroket at a time.

The hus­band and wife team from Su­ma­tra, In­done­sia have been liv­ing in Marl­bor­ough for 10 years. Hen­dri doesn’t have a last name, which is a com­mon cus­tom in In­done­sia. But he says that it can make trav­el­ling to other coun­tries a night­mare.

‘‘Last time I was held by air­port se­cu­rity. On my pass­port, it just says ‘Hen­dri’, no sur­name.

They don’t like that. So I just call my­self ‘Hen­dri Hen­dri’. It’s much eas­ier.’’

In­deed, all the three of the cou­ple’s chil­dren share the last name, ‘Hen­dri’.

Hen­dri and Mayasari’s story of how they came to be in Marl­bor­ough is not your typ­i­cal one.

Hen­dri has a fi­nance back­ground and worked in Jakarta, in the fast-paced world of fi­nance. It turns out, that it wasn’t the world for him.

‘‘When I came here, I worked at Sub­way sand­wich for maybe seven years,’’ says Hen­dri. ‘‘So I came from work­ing in of­fice, 9 to 5, wear­ing a suit, look­ing at graphs, and cur­rency. Very bor­ing. Then I started work­ing mak­ing sand­wiches.

‘‘Af­ter that I found, ‘this is me! I never thought I would do this kind of work, and then when I tried it… you just know – that’s what I wanna do! I was like – this is my pas­sion.

‘‘I like meet­ing peo­ple, and talk­ing to peo­ple. And mak­ing them some food.’’

The pair first started trad­ing in a gazebo at the Satur­day Boot Sale Mar­ket, sell­ing potato dough­nuts and the Indo del­i­cacy – kroket.

A lit­tle his­tory: Dur­ing Dutch colo­nial rule in In­done­sia, both the cul­tures in­flu­enced each other’s cui­sine re­sult­ing in type of fu­sion that is unique to the In­done­sian culi­nary cul­ture. One of the by-prod­ucts of that in­ter­min­gling is the dis­tinc­tively Indo flavours of the kroket (a mix of the Dutch cro­quette and In­done­sian in­gre­di­ents).

‘‘We sell kroket – they are like Dutch spring rolls,’’ says Mayasari. ‘‘But they are slightly dif­fer­ent from In­done­sian spring rolls. Krokets use milk and its very creamy. And In­done­sian uses lots of spices, for the kroket.’’

The pair man­aged to win the Peo­ple’s Choice Award at the Wine and Food Fes­ti­val in 2017 for their pair­ing of the kroket with a Toi Toi Pinot Gris. And just two months ago they de­cided to go full­time with the In­done­sian kitchen on wheels.

And Mayasari her­self has been dab­bling in another culi­nary art form: por­trait cook­ies. Half A4-sized cook­ies that can be cus­tom or­dered with your favourite per­son’s mug on them.

‘‘At elec­tion time, cus­tomer or­der faces of politi­cians and I did one of Win­ston Peters and Janette Walker.’’

Both Mayasari and Hen­dri say they have been over­whelmed by the kind­ness of the lo­cals and that their food truck has been gone from strength to strength.

‘‘When I first came here to Blen­heim, I was just shocked, with the kind­ness and the open­ness of the peo­ple. They smile and say hello to you. What is it - ‘kia Ora bro?’’’ Hen­dri laughs.

‘‘Ev­ery­one says that New Zealand it’s the na­ture and the scenery that is beau­ti­ful, but I think the more beau­ti­ful is the peo­ple.’’

You will find the Hen­dri Hen­dri and In­dah Mayasari at the Tea­li­cious food truck in Wino’s car park on Grove Rd in Blen­heim, from 10.30am – 8pm ev­ery day, or at a spe­cial event near you.


Hen­dri and In­dah Mayasari at the Tea­li­cious food truck in the Wino’s car park on Grove Rd.

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